Bath time can be an enjoyable opportunity for a parent or caregiver and baby to bond. It is useful to have all the equipment ready before beginning to help bath time go smoothly.
The bathroom should be warm, and the baby should be wrapped in a towel immediately after a bath to maintain their warmth.
A baby should never be left unattended at bath time.
A baby’s bath temperature should be 98.6–100.4°F or about 98.6°F for a newborn. Babies have thinner skin, so they need cooler bathwater than adults. An adult can check the temperature with their elbow as it is more sensitive to heat than a hand. If the water does not feel cooler or warmer than the elbow, the temperature is suitable for a baby.
Parents and caregivers can ensure the water temperature is safe for a baby by:
Checking the temperature with either an elbow or a bath thermometer before bathing a baby.
Mixing the water well to ensure there are no hot spots.
Running the cold water first before adding hot water. To cool down the faucet, allow the cold water to run for a few moments after turning off the hot water.
Ensuring not to run hot water on its own when a baby is in the bath, as it could accidentally scald their skin. If the water needs topping up, run the cold and hot water together.
Placing the baby away from the faucet if using a full-size bathtub. Or use a section of a flexible Styrofoam pool noodle to cover the faucet. This protects baby from an accidental scald and from a bump on the head.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends lowering the temperature in hot water systems to minimize the risk of burns. A temperature around 122°F (50°C) is ideal.
To make bathing baby as enjoyable and safe as possible, people can consider:
Making the bathroom warm and draft-free.
Putting the baby’s towel on a warm radiator, if possible, so it can warm them after their bath.
Having everything nearby before beginning bath time.
Talking reassuringly throughout bath time. This can help the baby feel calm and is a great way to encourage language development.
Ensuring to never leave a baby unattended around water. If a parent or a caregiver needs something from another room, they should take the baby with them.
Ensuring that an older child is not left to supervise a baby as they may not have a fully developed perception of danger.
https://www.aad.org/public/ everyday-care/skin-care-basics/care/ newborn-bathing
Exclusive content from CARE magazine